The overall crime rate among youth inched up by just three per cent between 2005 and 2006, but homicides and other violent crimes are becoming more common, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
BY CANWEST NEWS SERVICE MAY 16, 2008
OTTAWA — The overall crime rate among youth inched up by just three per cent between 2005 and 2006, but homicides and other violent crimes are becoming more common, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
According to information collected by Canadian police forces, the violent crime rate among youth aged 12 to 17 increased by 12 per cent between 1997 and 2006, and 30 per cent since 1991. The overall violent crime rate in Canada, by contrast, declined by four per cent between 1997 and 2006.
Much of the increase in the violent crime rate among young people has been driven by a rise in the number of assaults. Youth accused of assault represented nearly 80 per cent of all young people arrested for a violent crime in 2006.
Statistics Canada noted that in 2006, the homicide rate among youth aged 12 to 17 reached its highest point since data were first collected in 1961. The agency warned, however, that because homicides comprise only a tiny fraction of all youth crime, rates can fluctuate substantially each year. In fact, just five years earlier, the youth homicide rate was at a 30-year low.
Overall, 84 young people — 72 boys and 12 girls — were implicated in 54 homicides in 2006, Statistics Canada reported. Just over half (52 per cent) of those homicides involved multiple perpetrators, compared with only 15 per cent of slayings in which an adult is the accused.
Violent crimes accounted for nearly one-quarter of all youth crime, according to the data, compiled by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Drug-related crimes among youth have also climbed dramatically.
The rate of drug offences among youth in 2006 was nearly twice what it was 10 years earlier. In...